Southern rap can be funny at times. But if it means making fun of individuals with disabilities, then it’s time to draw the line. Rappers DMoney and Smoove created a music video entitled “Wheelchair Shawty” that features a dance mocking the movement of handicapped persons who use wheelchairs.

The opening scene of the video features a conversation in a barbershop, where the barbers and clients are clowning around about seeing a man in a wheelchair speed by.

“Do the dance so good you would think I’m special and I look kinda handicap!” the rappers state comically in the music video. As creative as the dance appears, the song adds itself to a  long list of reasons why some southern rap songs discount themselves from quality of  hip-hop. There appears to be an extent to what we value and appreciate as funny. But in this case, the song isn’t smart—it’s outlandish.

Individuals with disabilities are one of the largest minority groups in the nation that goes unrecognized by the public. We must be considerate in the ways in which we choose to depict these individuals, just as we would for all minority groups. Some may believe that the song is meant to bring light humor to the issue of being handicapped. However, the terminology in the song about appearing “special” highlights the negative stigma that is often associated with disabilities.

The production of this song follows the release of “Short Bus Shawty,” a viral video that ridiculed southern rappers Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, and Soulja Boy for their lack of creative ability in music.

Sound off, readers. We would love to know your opinions on this video.

Watch Wheelchair Shawty

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  • Dominique

    What’s more offensive than the actual “Wheelchair Shawty” dance, is the author basically stereotyping all Southern rap music in the statement, “As creative as the dance appears, the song itself seems to add itself to the long list of reasons why southern rap music is discounts itself from the stylistic quality of the hip-hop genre.”

    There are a list of Southern rappers and rap groups that are included in the “hip hop genre”. Please note Outkast, Goodie M.O.B., T.I., Scarface, and some may even argue Lil Wayne.

    The arguement should be, “Is this dance offensive?”, but some how this turned into “Is this article offensive where there is an author who is stating personal views as facts?”

    The answer to both questions is yes.

    • Sammy23

      Dominique,

      I think your a bit confused. This is not NBC or CBS. This is an online magazine that is built and based off news ANALYSIS and COMMENTARY. Thus, the author has every right to add his/her own views. And it’s not a bash on all southern music. Just “some” as the line that you quoted states. There are strong southern rappers–like T.I., Ludacris, The Roots as you named–but with this onslaught of “crank that…” and “Drop that [expletive]” and ridiculous stuff like “Wheelchair Shawty” our great southern rappers get drowned out.

      Have a blessed day!

    • Jencendiary

      But, on that note, neither TI nor Ludacris are on the cutting edge of social justice in their lyrics – with a strong strand of objectification of women, glorification of violence, and general ignorant-ass behavior.

    • secretaddy

      The author’s analysis of souther hip pop is pretty shallow and judgmental. However, it is not MORE offensive than these able-bodied people parodying the disability and thus limitation that many have to endure

      But yea that was pretty shallow, why should “social justice” be the only determinant of good hip hop ! Hip hop should be versatile enough to incorporate dance, partying and/or social justice themes.

      But for real, if you want “depth” read a damn book. Stop looking to hip hop as a source of intellect.

  • cherbear

    What a lame @$$ song. If this is where music is headed, I’m going to start wearing earplugs everywhere.

    I’m recovering from being partially paralyzed. Not fun at all, at least I can walk. It seems society (or maybe just souther black rappers) need sensitivity training. lol. I find this song more stupid than offensive. Talentless idiots. Ugh…when will these people learn.

    Oh well. This song is here today gone tomorrow.

  • Jeff

    I just had this same conversation with someone else.

    The whole song and dance is about doing ecstasy. Do y’all not know what “geeked” or “rolling” or “been up for 7 days” means? You know, rolling on ecstasy, rolling like you’re in a wheelchair? Isn’t that really, really obvious?

    I don’t think that the point of the song is to make fun of the disabled, even if it is still offensive. I think there’s a difference though between being hateful and just being ignorant or insensitive.

    • Jencendiary

      Do people still do that shit? Being a rave kid from the dawn of time, we decided to leave all that alone when we were finally old enough to buy our own gin and tonics in public. Back then it was hard enough to get the real stuff – I despair at what today’s kids are eating. . .

    • Me27

      Jeff I agree, I don’t they they intended to be offensive to disabled persons. And I completely agree that this can probably just be chalked up to ignorance. However, the song is DUMB and the dance is even DUMBER.

  • chloe

    Assuming that all wheelchair users are retarded is the same as assuming that all black men are drug dealers and all black women are welfare receiving baby mommas. If this is the message they’re sending then yes, it is offensive because it reinforces a negative stereotype. Christopher Reeve was in a wheelchair due to a severe back (spinal cord) injury, not a head injury. He was not mentally slow, developmentally disabled or “special.” It’s this stigma that marginalizes those with physical disabilities and creates attitudinal barriers to inclusion and employment.

  • King Jason

    Like most southern hip hop it’s stupid. They assault the genre relentlessly with their bama-ness.